CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- The mood was very relaxed in the District 5-A/AA tennis singles final between Stephen Record and Blake Savard. Both often were seen smiling, and at one point between games a fan came onto the court during the match to take pictures of the two.
They are Grace Academy teammates.
Savard won the match on the final day of competition in the tournament held at Lee University. The boys' doubles final was won by Collegedale Academy's Michael Chung and Boston Londis, who defeated Silverdale's Alex Lowry and Reid Stubblefield 6-2, 6-1.
Collegedale's Alicia Salazar won her second consecutive district singles title with a straight-sets defeat of Boyd-Buchanan's Katie Delay, while the Lady Bucs' Emily Brown and Taylor Eades claimed their third consecutive doubles championship by downing Collegedale's Dani-Lou Voigt and Emily Wilt, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
The boys' singles final was a rematch of the 2011 district title, which Savard also won. With the season still alive for both players, the environment was very lax, but Savard rallied to win 4-6, 6-1, 6-1.
"We play each other in practice all the time, so this wasn't too different for us," Savard said. "It's a friendly match; the only difference from last year to this was that it wasn't as hot outside."
Londis and Chung didn't even play doubles last season, and a year later they're champions of the district.
"We weren't even sure that we were going to make it this far, especially with Alex and Reid in the draw," Londis said. "They're hard to play, plus we're all good friends, so that makes it even harder for us."
Salazar shook off a slow first set to overcome Delay 6-3, 6-3. A season ago, the Collegedale senior went all the way to the Class A/AA state semifinals.
"I started to feel the pressure to accomplish what I did last year," she said. "I started to take things a point at a time, but this is all fun for me. My forehand was working, and I was keeping the ball in play. The mental game is everything for me, and if you have that, you've got it all in my book."
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